Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time For Change
As spring and summer approach and the world renews after such a long and historic winter it just may be time to put a fresh face and new smile on life. Appearance can be changed through cosmetic enhancement and today expectations are higher than ever before. In many instances, the most dramatic esthetic effects can result from smile enhancement.
Small steps can be taken to make quite visible changes to your smile, your dental health and consequently your well-being. Bigger steps will, of course, be necessary to accomplish larger more encompassing changes and goals. In any event, how you feel has a lot to do with how you look and vice versa.
Join us as we review the many issues and changes available to you for cosmetic dental change.
Is What You See, What You Get?
Here’s a little about a lot. “Cosmetic” derives from ancient Greek (kosmetike) meaning “the art of dress and ornament” and from (kosmeo) “to order, to arrange, to rule, to adorn, to equip, to dress, to embellish.” Cosmetic — as in dentistry — relates largely to external or superficial; pertaining only to the surface or appearance of something. But there may be more to it, for surface change may require more than you see, and as we will see, can sometimes require a lot of change beneath the surface.
Cosmetic is also not to be confused with aesthetic. Aesthetics commonly describes the study of sensory or emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. Aesthetics could be said to describe how you feel and the value you place on a cosmetic change.
What Is A Cosmetic Dentist, What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Arguably Cosmetic Dentistry has been around since dentists started restoring and replacing teeth, in effect changing smiles. In essence, any dentist is a cosmetic dentist. All dentists during their formative years in dental school are educated and trained to do treatment procedures cosmetically, for after all form follows function and function follows form.
But today Cosmetic Dentistry has almost become a specialty within dentistry. What has driven the change is a “Chicken and Egg” story. Nevertheless, we are living in an exciting era in dentistry, an era focused on facial beauty. And the demand for change is not only high but is, for the most part, now technically achievable. Today more than ever before, the healing arts are able to provide cosmetic change to meet the public’s ever-increasing expectations.
Many general dentists and dental specialists and their medical counterparts have taken many continuing education courses and studied the cosmetic change in detail. There are academies, associations and study clubs devoted to this particular endeavor.
It all starts with a “Smile Analysis,” which is crucial to the process of cosmetic enhancement and change. There are multiple elements that make up what leads to that special end result we call “a smile.” When the curtain goes up and the lips part, the show that goes on display is not just those pearly whites. Just think of all the actors on this particular stage: teeth in all their various aspects, shapes, colors and sizes; gum health and gum line, framing the teeth and smile; tooth alignment, spacing and bite; jaw relations upper to lower; and all within the context of the big picture — your face, including eyes, lips, skin and more. When complex cosmetic enhancement is being contemplated all these elements need to be borne in mind, because changing one thing can change everything.
Choosing The “Right” Cosmetic Dentist
In choosing the right “cosmetic dentist” you must do your due diligence. The first step may well be identifying the fact that you want or need cosmetic dental change. The second is identifying the dentist to do it and then asking the right questions. Most dentists who have taken special training in this area will be happy to tell you about their experience and show you pictures of their cases. A smile analysis may be a good place to start.
Skill levels of dental health professionals can and do vary. Cosmetic dental change may require the knowledge, skills and combined experience of a dental “team” especially for a more radical smile change.